packaging reduction and recycling infrastructure act
Credit: www.bluewaikiki.com/Flickr

Op-ed: New York considers bill to slash plastic waste and protect health

The New York state Legislature is evaluating a bill that aims to significantly reduce plastic packaging and its associated health risks.

Judith Enck writes for Albany Times-Union.


In short:

  • The Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act seeks to cut New York's packaging by 50% over 12 years, reducing exposure to microplastics and toxic chemicals.
  • The bill would make companies responsible for cleaning up packaging waste, eliminating 19 harmful chemicals, and preventing environmental and health damage.
  • Despite opposition from the plastics industry, the bill could set a national precedent for reducing plastic pollution.

Key quote:

"The bill would protect New Yorkers from plastic’s health risks and prevent environmental and climate harms."

— Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics.

Why this matters:

This bill addresses the urgent health risks posed by microplastics and toxic chemicals found in plastic packaging, which can cause serious health issues like cancer and heart disease. Its passage could inspire similar legislation nationwide, reducing plastic pollution and its widespread impacts. Read more: Americans actually agree on something — they want products free of harmful chemicals.

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